Golf Lessons: Tee Shots Washington DC

One of the best ways to become a straight hitter is to learn how the club should swing through the ball and not at the ball in a smooth, centered motion. To do that, the body ought to rotate all the way through the shot, and the arms should extend into the finish.

University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
Turfgrass Trends
1775 T Street NW
Washington, DC
 
Langston Golf Course & Driving Range
202/397-8638
2600 Benning Rd Ne
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
18

Data Provided by:
East Potomac Public Golf Course -White
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
9

Data Provided by:
University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
East Potomac Public Golf Course -Red
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
9

Data Provided by:
East Potomac Golf Course
(202) 554-7660
972 Ohio Dr SW
Washington, DC
 
East Potomac Public Golf Course -Blue
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
18

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Stop the Pop

Stop The Pop

Stop The Pop Undoubtedly, the most embarrassing tee shot in golf is the drive that pops straight up, barely clearing the tee box. The pop-up is an agonizing mis-hit most often caused by an excessive forward weight shift on the downswing and a club that approaches the ball on a very steep angle of attack. The steep descent de-lofts the clubface to such a degree that the topline of the club effectively becomes the leading edge. The result? Not only a humiliating pop-up, but one of the most hated marks in golf: a scuff on the crown of the clubhead. Yuck.

Eliminating the pop-up can be as simple as finetuning your setup. The key is to make sure your address position encourages a longer and bigger backswing arc, which will automatically shallow out your swing plane and reduce the steepness of your downswing. You’ll also find that the correct setup facilitates a solid backswing weight shift. In addition to the plane errors discussed above, a poor weight shift to the right side during the backswing can increase the likelihood of a pop-up.

The simplest adjustment you can make to your setup to keep the pop-up at bay is to open wide. A wide stance is needed because in order to create a bigger backswing arc, there must be room for it.

Try the following drill. Make abbreviated swings with your feet placed wider than shoulder width. Each swing should move from 2:00 to 8:00 (as if a large clock sits behind you). Concentrate on maintaining a higher position at the top of your swing (hands at 2:00) and a lower position at the finish (hands at 8:00). This will train your body to make a fuller backswing and shift your weight to your back foot on the backswing and to your forward foot on the downswing, instead of the other way around.

PGA professional Dean Hedstrom has taught the game of golf for over 30 years.

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Straighten Your Tee Shots

Straighten Your Tee Shots

Quick tips for straighter hits


POINT THE GRIP AT THE BALL
Stay connected to the tee. One of the best ways to become a straight hitter is to learn how the club should swing through the ball and not at the ball in a smooth, centered motion. To do that, the body ought to rotate all the way through the shot, and the arms should extend into the finish. Without thinking too much about your body, try this simple tip. Take a few slow swings and clip a tee in the process. As your hands reach about chest high (as you see in the photo), see if the butt of the club is pointing directly at (or close to) the tee. If your arms collapse, or if you sway and slide during your swing, you won’t be able to point at the tee in the way I am. Practice this tip daily until you can point the grip at the tee without thinking about it, and you’ll likely see fast improvements in your ballstriking. Remember, the better your ballstriking, the straighter your shots.


Correct Position
X marks the spot. When your arms reach waist high, not only should the grip point at the tee, but the arms should cross and form an X, as I’m doing here. It’s proof of a solid extension through impact as well as full upper body turn. Speaking of which, if you don’t turn fully on the downswing, you can’t extend the arms properly. Notice how my arms are in front of my chest, even though it’s well after I’ve made contact with the ball. This is how you want to look at this point in the swing.


InCorrect Position
Not for drivers. There are some shots in golf where this follow through works—bump-and-runs, maybe even some bunker hits. But with the driver, if I don’t release my hands, I’ll lose a ton of consistency, not to mention power. See how I’m leaning away from the ball? That’s not a good sign either, both for my back and for producing solid tee shots. Allow your hands to release through the swing and keep your weight forward to improve your tee hits.

SETUP VS. IMPACT
QUICK TIP!
Get fit! Driver fitting is crucial, especially when it comes to shaft length and flex. Stiffer, shorter shafts tend to help golfers hit it straighter, as does more clubhead loft.

Setup vs. impact. You’ll learn a lot about the differences between setup vs. impact in this magazine, but here’s a drill you can incorporate to improve your fundamentals for both. Start with a solid impact position, and be sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, your arms are comfortable, your shoulders are slightly tilted to the left and your head is behind the golf ball. This is a steady, athletic position with which to start a swing, especially with a driver.

Pump your way to impact. From the setup, start by pumping your body into the impact position as I’ve done here. This means move your ha...

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